National Bank unveils new platform

By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi

Malawi’s largest bank by assets, the National Bank of Malawi, has unveiled new integrated communication platforms which has spurred it further to call on Malawians to embrace the culture of using debit cards when paying for services rather than bank notes, to keep up with changing times.

The bank’s Chief Marketing Officer, Wilkins Mijiga, and Corporate affairs Manager, Annie Magola, said this at two different meetings in Blantyre and Mzuzu, where it oriented journalists with the new initiative as well as daylong Point of Sale (POS) refresher course for cashiers and till operators

Mijiga said the new platform would not only see the bank creating sustainable value and wealth for its stakeholders but it will also bring the bank closer to them.

At the core of the platforms was the bank’s wish to help customers and other stakeholders to access services and products through a wide range of user-friendly platforms.

But the bank also realised that if their officials were not conversant with some components of the system which is the POS then all their efforts will be in vain.

Magola said despite being introduced in 2006, the use of debit cards has remained new in Malawi.

“Its acceptance has been gradual as people still prefer using hard cash when purchasing goods,” she said before adding: “There are some people who still think they cannot use plastic money. But we are glad that given our statistics, we are building up and registering more people using debit cards.”

Magola said carrying bank notes was gradually dwindling because of global technological advances.

And this advancement has seen the bank always transforming its technological facilities, latest of which is the new platform, which will eventually turn Malawi into a paperless transacting economy.

Mijiga said the bank’s package of integrated communications platform has brought new innovations in the banking sector.

He said the first stage is the redesigning of the bank’s website, which will now have a new look.

“What is more interesting is the fact that, apart from getting our website redesigned, we have embedded Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to the website,” said before declaring: “We have become more interactive with our customers.”

He said the platforms are an indication that the bank is changing and moving ahead of time as they are a part of sustained strategic investment in technologies that include online real banking, mobile and electronic banking.

“This will help our customers save time and money, and find banking with us easy,” insisted Mijiga who disclosed that apart from introducing the platforms on all communication channels, the bank had ensured that the new platforms were highly interactive, easily accessible, had greater speed, and were highly versatile.

Responding to reports that some customers and stakeholders have complained that the new platforms is not user-friendly; Mijiga said without elaboration that while the platforms represented a new shift towards high technology, the services were customer friendly.

 

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